| 26 Nov 2022
Ficci Frames 2016 Special - Live music will percolate to smaller cities soon

MUMBAI: The Indian live music industry will make major inroads into secondary towns in the country within the next five years.

Even as the highly regulated, often stifled and marginally profitable live music sector in India struggles to make its presence felt in an increasingly digital world, the mood at the session on ‘Music- New age popular entertainment’ at Ficci Frames’ Day Two was upbeat. Panelists were enthused at changing government policies governing the live scene and sounded encouraged by the millennial generation that is conducive to the idea of paying to watch live performances.

OML CEO Vijay Nair was optimistic about the quick transitions in the music scene when he spoke about the players still scratching the surface of the potentially huge market. “There are over 200 cities that have not seen a live concert in the country,” he pointed out. Till a few years ago, he said, concert organisers were used to last minute police intervention, low ticket sales and shows getting cancelled` “In the last 12 months, things have become very positive at both the centre and state level,” he pointed out. “We had been a victim of our own complacence. We have started speaking to the government with one voice and suggestions are being accepted.” This would act as an incentive for festival and event organisers to move from the metropolises, the usual stomping grounds of live events, to smaller cities and towns like Jaipur and Shillong which have massive unfed apetites for live events, he said.

Moderated by Group M business head (entertainment, sports and live events) Vinit Karnik, the panel included Maati Baani co founder Kartik Shah, Viacom 18 Live business head Jaideep Singh, One Digital Entertainment co founder and COO Gurpreet Singh, OML CEO Vijay Nair and artiste Manj Musik.

Jaideep Singh cited Viacom’s experiments in the live space, pointing out that the network is now using broadcast to opening new markets, by creating interesting content around events, be they rock, Bollywood or alternative music. “There is a huge target group audience out there, we need to explore opportunities with merchandise and content consumption. Brand interest in live events is growing 100 per cent. Wee now need more big players investing more and government needs to notice the sector better, he said.

While Gurpreet Singh said that digital has opened up democratic platforms for monetising talent, Maati Baani’s Kartik Shah outlined the online initiative’s own success in creating an online prominent Indian sound completely through remote collaborations.

Artiste Manjeet Singh, known better as Manj Musik, had the last word when he pointed out that indie music is growing so fast that it no longer needs Bollywood as a platform. Citing his own experience, he said that his song’ Saddi Galli’ was first released independently in the UK in 2005 and years later was picked up on its own merit by the makers of ‘Tanu Weds Manu’.

Nair summed up the future of the live music industry in India by saying that figuring out the business model to find out what is sustainable in the long term would have to be the focus for the industry in the coming days.